Telemon and Maroon 110 years ago
A glimpse of the Past
Supplement to Beaudesert Times, Friday 17 April 1959
[Transcribed by Angela Collyer, Boonah, December 2006]
In this, the Queensland Centenary Year, historical records of particular
interest, and today is presented extracts from memoirs of Carden Collins
written in 1914.
This comes to us through the good offices of Mr Bernard O'Reilly, who
writes: "An Easter guest at Lost World was Mr Ellis Smith, of
Mr Ellis Smith is a great great grandson of Capt Thomas Collins, whose
is associated with the very early history of this district. By
Mr Ellis Smith I am forwarding a press reprint of the memories of Carden
Collins, son of Capt Thos Collins and great grand-father of Mr Ellis
The memoirs were recorded in 1914, when Carden Collins was in his 85th
Sitting on his verandah, though then 85 years of age, Mr Collins memory
of the sharpest and he took me from that day of January 16th 1829,
when he was born on the brig Elizabeth off the isle of Trinidad, to
pleasant declining days of his on the shores of Keppel Bay, without a
Carden Collins was a son of Captain Thos. Collins, who came of a very
family in Somerset. Captain Collins served as an officer in the
Navy. He did not consider he was making money fast enough, and,
being of an
adventurous spirit, resolved to engage in the whaling industry. With
object in view he purchased the old sailor Elizabeth and carried on his
perilous occupation in the Southern Ocean for many years. Mr
that his father described whaling as the finest of sport. Mrs
frequently accompanied her husband in the Elizabeth and it was on the
of January 1829, whilst passing the Island of Trinidad, West Indies,
Collins was born. Captain Collins mapped out a career for his son
British navy, but heavy financial losses through injudicious
his savings by a friend, compelled an abandonment of that idea.
Collins then resolved to seek fortune in Australia. Carden
Collins was only
a little chap when his father landed in Sydney in 1829. Shortly
he returned to England in his father's shop Elizabeth via the Capt Horn
the purpose of receiving an education. He returned again to
he was but thirteen years of age in the ship Angelena. The voyage
without incident, for the Angelena was dismasted in a storm off the
Good Hope, and had to put into Capetown for repairs.
"My father," continued Mr Collins, "on settling in Australia received a
grant of 640 acres at Bathurst, NSW from the Government. This was
land he owned in Australia. He afterwards took up a farm at
when I arrived back from England, he had migrated to Queensland and
on some country in the Darling Down, through which the McIntyre Brook
This he named Cooloomunda or as the blacks called it,
Kabbathemani. After I
arrived in Sydney I was met by Mr William Weeks, an uncle, the son of a
celebrated doctor in Kent, and we two set out overland for
the whole distance of 400 miles the natives proved very troublesome and
had literally to fight our way to our destination. After spending
years on the Darling Downs my father sold his property and purchased
on the Logan River, from some people in Sydney named Campbell.
That was in
the 40's, not long after I had come out.
We grew out own wheat at Cooloomunda and made our own flour. The
used to grind the wheat for us with a little steel hand mill and for
labours we rewarded them with the bran.
When we sold Cooloomunda, we shifted the whole of our cattle, numbering
3,000 or 4,000 to our new place Telemon. This took us two or
We bred all Shorthorns in those days and some of them were pretty wild
devils. It was all open country then, and no fencing was used at
course, no railways then existed and all travelling was done by
remember the first steam engine that was landed in Sydney from
was something after the class of a traction engine and all Sydney
to see it. It was a failure.
In addition to cattle my father tried sheep raising on Telemon but they
not a success and after persevering with them for a time we had to
them with cattle. The chief failure with the sheep was they ran
and did not otherwise do any good.
About three miles below Beaudesert Captain ("Bobby") Towns had a cotton
plantation. It was on the banks of the Logan, and sometimes after
the ground ploughed and planted then a big flood came down and swept
ploughed ground away. This was the only venture in cotton growing
Logan in my time. Later on cotton was grown about Ipswich.
Just before we went to Telemon, John Collins, who was not in any way
to us, took up Mundoolun on the Albert River. He was a fine old
late RM, William and George Collins were three sons of a good
my father was on Telemon I founded Tamborine Station on the Albert River
near Mundoolun, which I sold after holding it for a couple of years to
Charlie Graham. The latter however, made a mess of it and died in
Rockhampton a short time after leaving the property. A Mr Williams
afterwards purchased Tamborine from Mr Tooth, but he too only held it
short while. Mr Duckett White took up Beau Desert in the early
blue Beau Desert! It was a fine place. Mr W Barker, of
place was only two miles from Telemon, was another neighbour of
I then formed Maroon, or as the blacks called it, Marrom. It
made a very
nice place of it and constructed a house, stockyards and
paddocks. I tried
sheep breeding again, in conjunction with cattle, but they did not do
here either. I therefore sold them and turned the money into
Racing was my hobby and blackfellows used to come miles to see me
was always an amateur and was better known as a hurdle rider and had a
beautiful stable of racehorses at Maroon. At one period I had
training at the one time. I did a little of both flat and
racing. Toby, an old cob I had, made a lot of money for me.
remember when I was racing Toby, who could jump anything, listening to
racy fellows who had come over from Sydney to Ipswich blowing in a
about their horses. I knew Toby could take anything so I chipped
in "I do
not mind having a go at you for £50."They took me up. It
was general racing
time in the district and the Governor Sir George Bowen and suite was
They all witnessed the match which was over two miles. I engaged
Bob to ride Toby. Toby baulked at the first hurdle and threw Bob
head. Nothing daunted, Bob remounted, notwithstanding that he
hopelessly out of the race. However he cleared the remainder of
beautifully. At the last hurdle the visitor's horse came down,
came on and won easily.
Huntsman was another good racer that I had. He was good for long
especially three miles. I once rode a horse belonging to the late
Tait, the well known racing man of Sydney, in a Corinthian race and won.
Some time afterwards I received a saddle worth £5 from him.
This was the
only present I ever got from the owners of my winning mounts, so I
good deal of it. Hughie Campbell, the well known Ipswich
those days, used to she my racehorses.
Mr Thomas Murray-Prior, who was the first Postmaster-General in
bought Maroon from me and effected additional improvements. He
married, his first wife being a NSW lady named Miss Harper, and a very
girl she was, while his second wife was named Miss Baron.
Cattle did not then bring the prices obtained nowdays. Most of
were sent to the boiling downs at Ipswich and we were lucky if we got
head for bullocks after moving them 200 miles.
When I left Maroon, I was hard up for country so I came northwards to
Creek by following the coast line. I bought some country here
right in the
midst of the properties of Mr F Blackman, Warroo, Mr Harvey Hold of
and Robertson Brothers.
My father died at Nindooinbah Mrs Compigne's property, while my mother
predeceased him by several years. Her death took place at Telemon.
Mrs A Henderson, one of my sisters, although 82 years of age, is now
with her only son at Jimboomba in the Logan District, which Mr Henderson
selected in the 50's. Mrs Compgine, another sister of mine, died
years ago. My youngest sister, Mrs Nott, resides at Greycliff at
on the Dawson. Mr Collins said that his race was a long lived one.
Yes, I remember and knew most of the old Brisbaneites of 50 years ago
can well recollect Leichhardt the explorer. He was a tall thin
man and was
really not a good bushman. He was lost without a compass. I
friend had dinner with him the night before he started on his last trip.
My bother Bob, with a friend named Horace Walpole, took up land
Flinders Many years ago and named the place Telemon, after the old home
the Logan. They sold out to a man named Stuart and shortly after
to California cheris de feminiini, where he settled and lived until his
death occurred about 2 years ago. He was ruined by the earthquake
lost all his worldly possessions and had to start again.
A granddaughter of Mr Carden Collins adds this interesting memoir:
My grandfather's (Carden Collins) father, Capt Thos Collins, married in
Sophia Pamela Warners Somerset, who was a descendant of Sir John
who signed the Magna Charter.
Carden Collins was twice married. He was married at Murgon,
NSW to Mary Helena Glennie, 1852. Her father was an uncle of Rev
Glennie. Her mother, Susan White, came out with her
Ogilvie and sister Mrs Ogilvie, in the former's own ship. Captain
Ogilvie were cousins and also cousins of Sir Arthur Kennedy, Governor of
Queensland and also descendants of the Earls of Airlie, Scotland.
Ogilvie had two daughters, one later married William Bundock, of
My grandfather's first wife died at Thornhill station, Gladstone, in
His second wife was an English widow Mrs Lister and sister of Mr JP
well known Police Magistrate and who established that great record of
Queensland history, Pugh's Almanac.